By John Hallward
With the arrival of the warmer weather and some sunshine this seems like a good time to shine a light on new
research findings about the giving motivations of wealthy Canadians. A ground breaking report released in
November 2014 by The GIV3 Foundation, in partnership with Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), BMO
Wealth Management and Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC), examines the charitable giving behaviour and
motivations of Canadians with investable assets of at least $1 million as well as professional financial advisors that
work with this group.
According to the report, the great majority (91 per cent) of wealthy Canadians gave to charitable causes in the past
12 months. Interestingly, most of these donors are motivated by emotional considerations such as their desire to
impact the community (55 per cent), to give back (50 per cent) and their passion for a cause (32 per cent). Fewer
(21 per cent) wealthy Canadians say they are driven to donate because of the tax incentives.
Wealthy Canadians are also interested in ensuring that their gifts are used wisely. Along with motivations, the
research found that affluent Canadians have some hesitations around charitable giving. Among these hesitations,
43 per cent of those interviewed mentioned that their gift might not be used wisely by the receiving organization.
Wealthy donors also admitted they do not want to receive an increase in donation requests in the future (26 per
The research also examined the important role of financial advisors in the philanthropic decision making of wealthy
Canadians. According to the report, among affluent donors that have had philanthropic conversations with their
financial advisor, more than half (52 per cent) found the conversations useful and the vast majority (88 per cent)
were satisfied with the help they received. However, the incidence of such conversations is low, with only 13 per
cent of those interviewed reporting they had engaged in any philanthropic discussions with their advisors.
It is understandable that donors may have some questions or concerns associated with charitable giving and
fortunately financial advisors are in a position to help them overcome any hesitations. Advisors can add significant
value to their clients by helping to create a philanthropic plan that aligns with their values, and identify legitimate
organizations that are making a difference. This will in turn help to provide peace of mind and ensure their clients’
charitable dollars are being used effectively.
We at GIV3 are thrilled to be working with CAGP and other partners in this initiative to engage financial advisors in
the philanthropic conversation. We felt intuitively that there is an important opportunity in Canada for advisors to get
more engaged in their clients’ philanthropic aspirations, and now the research confirms that; it is what clients want,
it’s good for financial advisors and most of all our communities will benefit.
The results in the report are based on two quantitative online surveys, conducted Canada in September 2014
through Ipsos Canada in partnership with The GIV3 Foundation, Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP),
BMO Harris Private Banking and Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC). For a copy of the research summary or
for more information please contact The GIV3 Foundation.
John Hallward is the founder and chairman of The GIV3 Foundation, a registered charity with the mission to encourage
more Canadians to be more giving. He is also a market research professional, working at Ipsos in a global role. In
2007, John had his first book published by Wiley & Sons, “Gimme! The Human Nature of Successful Marketing”.
In 2011, he published “The Happiness Equation. The Human Nature of Happy People”. John is also an active
volunteer and a Director on several different non-profit Boards in Montreal.
Content Provided by Canadian Association of Gift Planners